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Here's 55: DARTZ Rank 55 Cold Ones

Here's 55: DARTZ Rank 55 Cold Ones

DARTZ / C.C. / Wednesday 28th February, 2024 1:22PM

Pōneke chilled beverage enthusiasts DARTZ's new album Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One is out this Friday via Flying Nun Records. Read their comprehensively researched, most likely hugely controversial rankings of locally sourced beers (all available for purchase in Aotearoa) below and don't miss them touring nationwide at the following dates — every ticket presale includes a digital album purchase of DDTBACO...

DARTZ - Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One Album Release

Friday 1st March - San Fran, Wellington (album release party)*
Thursday 11th April - The Boathouse, Nelson
Friday 12th April - Waterfront Bar, Blenheim
Saturday 13th April - Mussel Inn, Golden Bay
Thursday 18th April - The Crown Hotel, Dunedin
Friday 19th April - Wunderbar, Christchurch
Saturday 20th April - Last Place, Hamilton
Saturday 27th April - Whammy Bar, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR - all tickets are being sold as a combination package with a digital download of DARTZ's new album Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One
*Wellington tickets via

Ahh, the humble beer. The elixir of the working man. A nascent and consistent presence throughout New Zealand life and culture at such a level the implications are too frightening to consider. Almost as frightening as the fact that despite beer having existed for thousands of years, it has only been served cold for the last 150, since the invention of refrigeration in the 1870s.

How were these 55 beers chosen? We sat around at Camp A Low Hum on the weekend and wrote a list. A list of the 55 beers that a hard-working New Zealander (like any of the four DARTZ boys) might turn to after they’ve earned the thirst and golden hour hits on a dangerous day to be a cold one. Beers were ranked across all vessels and formats, taking into account environmental factors, pure taste, emotional associations, personal traumas and memories, and price point, to name but a few.

We were very low on space, so craft beers were limited to a maximum of two per brewery, and had to have been a consistent presence within DARTZ’s beer drinking oeuvre rather than something we might have tried once or twice.

For reference, number 55 was a 0.25/10 on DARTZ’s hivemind rating scale, and number 1 an impressive 9/10. Let us begin:

55. Tui
Undrinkable swill of the lowest order. One of the very few beers you may consider turning down when offered freely.

54. Heineken
The beer of choice for the Paradise Realty cucks, for good reason. If you’re not either a) wearing a suit right now, or b) the kind of person who goes out to town in Whakatāne or Tauranga, there is no reason for you to drink this, ever.

53. Wild Buck
Would rather drink Wild Moose.

52. Rheineck

51. Ranfurly
Personally for me (Danz) this is a controversial placement for the 'Fury of Furly'. It’s the beer that my dad leaned on when the (lion) Reds were looking pricy. The Furly, alongside Castlepoint (RIP) was also my introduction to, and possibly the first beer to make the 440ml cans (later to be mastered by Lion 'big' Red).
Also as DARTZ’s leading expert in graphic design, the Furly possibly has one the most iconic logos of local cheap beer: a silhouette of the landscape of its name, and a cowboy charging on a horse to get home (to crack a cold one I assume). Yeehaw.

50. Baltica

49. Haagen
Shoutouts to national icon Liam K. Swiggs, but this is a beer that’s only a reasonable choice for those on the tightest of beer budgets, e.g. StudyLink. Even in these dire economic times I’m still seeing boxes of twelve for as low as $15, and for good reason.

48. Steinlager Classic
A beer out of time — a Steiny might have hit in the '90s but even the new retro can design failed to get me excited about drinking this garbage. Reluctantly had one on a plane recently and immediately thought to myself that I should have gone for a Coke.

47. Stella Artois

46. Kronenbourg

45. Kiwi Lager
This, along with number 39 on our list has some nerve in deciding to name itself this way: quite insulting to our fine country, and completely unearned for such a mid liquid.

44. Flame
Percentage does not equal pleasure.

43. Fosters
A damn shame that these are one of the three Aussie beers consistently on sale in NZ. XXXX Gold clears this by a huge margin — someone please bring it over.

42. Carlsberg
Probably the most acceptable of green bottle beers if only by virtue of being shunned by Heineken drinkers.

41. Lion Ice

40. Tiger Crystal
For some reason I ended up at a launch event for Tiger Crystal at St Kevins Arcade and as you might expect it was filled with some of the most annoying people you can imagine.

39. NZ Lager
(Refer to number 45) A touch higher up the list for doing a good job on the price point. Copping a case of these on special is close to the best % to $ ratio you’ll find at a supermarket.

38. Double Brown
It is disappointing that DARTZ gets consistently misrepresented as liking Double Brown — DoBros are a South Island meme and we are very happy to leave it to the Christchurch bands. I will drink one a year on stage at Darkroom and leave it there.

37. DB Draught

36. Boundary Road Brewery APA
Just not bad ya know. Boundary Road is really in your Macs kinda territory in terms of style and flavour. Little bit worse but a little bit cheaper.

35. Sol

34. Victoria Bitter
Somewhat divisive, Crispy definitely the only DARTZ boy choosing to drink VB. The rest will tell ya it doesn’t taste horrible but in terms of gut texture, it feels too much like eating bread. Possibly more appreciable to enjoyers of Speights?

33. Kingfisher Strong
This is the controversial placement of the list, and the single most divisive beer amongst the DARTZ brethren. Rollyz stands by it, he holds it in high esteem as the beer for Wellington skate rats and vagabonds, I’ve seen him get fucked on it many a time. But for the rest of us, while that’s an attitude we can maybe respect, it’s not a taste we can enjoy at all. Once again, percentage doesn’t equal pleasure.

32. Boundary Road Brewery Pilsner
(Refer to number 36) Pilsner definitely the pick of the Boundary Road bunch for drinkability.

31. Waikato Draught
Danz grew up in the Waikato but was raised on Lion Red so you know his parents did something right. This is a beer to drink on stage for a show at Last Place in Hamilton, and to politely pass on otherwise.

30. Peroni
The beer you get handed by your girlfriend’s well-off dad or your aunt’s new husband who loves golf.

29. Fiji Gold

28. Cassels Woolston APA
A fairly recent discovery and surprisingly hard hitter on the rankings. This is a very tasty beer, I’m not sure if it comes in a six and might not go as far as to recommend that level of investment but it’s pretty frequently on tap at Meow — give it a hoon next time you’re there.

27. Gisborne Gold
The beer you drink when you are in Gisborne or maybe the odd occasion you notice it on a decent special.

26. Macs Hop Rocker Pilsner

25. Garage Project Beer
If you live in Wellington and work in an office, you are going to get handed one of these at some point and you will have to drink it. The GP Beer is like the very concept of having an office job itself — you need to clock in and clock out, provide the bare minimum of friendly banter, and make an exit as soon as is reasonably possible.
Your older millennial manager will smile, he wants you to love it, he wants to have a yarn before he heads back to his wife and kid in Petone. You will need to drink the beer.

24. Panhead Quickchange XPA

23. Speights Gold Medal Ale
Speights is great with home field advantage, but relatively average in away games: on the balcony of a Riverton pub overlooking the beautiful river crossing, or at the Crown Hotel in Dunedin poured by the one and only Jones Chin, it’ll do you right. But in DARTZ’s Wellington, even despite Speights playing well in the box of twelve cans division, there’s not often a reason to touch it.

22. Double Vision Red Rascal
Great with curry, shoutouts Planet Spice in Newtown putting the Red Rascal on the menu.

21. Double Vision Smooth Operator
An enigma of a beverage. When Crispy and Rollyz met for the first time it was over a fresh pint of Smooth Operator. Those early kegs were something else, a perfectly creamy cream ale and a fucking delicious beer. Hard to say if we grew overly accustomed or if the recipe / canning process changed things, but nowadays it’s not quite what it once was.

20. Abandoned Eyegum Pilsner
Drinking this on Wednesday nights at San Fran for $6 (soon to be $7, used to be $5) a pint is an essential Wellington experience. Pairs very well with a Macho Macho set.

19. Emerson's Underground Lager

18. Panhead Supercharger APA
You know you’re in your late 20s when this beer starts appearing in your life out of nowhere. Suddenly your mates are drinking it at the airport while you’re still tossing up the cheap options, and you start wondering where the past five years went. There’s a reason it’s so omnipresent, but you can’t help but question if this really is the future you always wanted.

17. Sapporo

16. Tiger
It’s not very often anymore that we find ourselves with a Tiger in hand. I feel like in days gone by it had a much more competitive price point and did a good job filling up our recycling bins. Still a solid beer and worth shouting out some formative swigs on a $5 Tiger at the Lucha Lounge, pour one out next time you’ve got em <3

15. Tsingtao
A player in the big bottle league, this is a classic Dominion Road beer that provides the perfect compliment to twenty dumplings, brown sauce eggplant, fried rice, and a cucumber salad.

14. Emerson's Pilsner

13. Corona
Corona feels like a vaguely aspirational beer for the average New Zealander — key associations are the Fast & Furious movies, the Air NZ Koru Lounge, and ordering a bucket of four on ice at a waterfront bar. Although its retail price point rarely justifies a purchase, taste-wise Corona holds up its end of the bargain to those aspirations — especially if they upgrade you from lemon to lime wedge.

12. Orion
A serviceable option that I think has received a slight bump due to its strong associations with beer towers at late night Chinese feeds, and that’s okay. Beer towers are seldom worth it as the beer doesn’t stay cold enough, but I don’t think there’s many other options on this list that I’d be happy to order in beer tower format and quantity.

11. Speights Summit Ultra
This is the beer that Danz’s mum and stepdad switched to from Lion Red when they started getting carb conscious, and let me be the first to congratulate Karen and Chris on their great choice. Many Paeroa shed sessions have since gone down on the Summit Ultras, and more than once I’ve seen a DARTZ member nurse a tall boy of Summit at Newtown Sports Bar on a Friday night — even though it feels semi-illegal for such a new product to get made in crate form.
I wasn’t allowed to include citrus beers in the ranking for political reasons, but let me also say off the record that the lime variant slaps.

10. Urbanaut Miami Lager

9. Urbanaut Pilsner
A shoutout with these placements to Crispy’s home away from home, Tamaki Makaurau’s Urbanaut Brewery which pumps out good beer & good vibes, and provides a solid pre-soundcheck hang spot for any DARTZ tour of Auckland.

8. Export Gold
A top ten placement for Export Gold was my biggest surprise here — I would have thought the other boys might have put this in the middle of the pack at best. But the maths adds up: while it’s a very drinkable sports bar and family gathering beer for the most part, I’ve even done a Crate Day on Export and it holds up at high volumes.

7. Macs Gold
A beer that plays incredibly strongly in the six-pack division. Absolutely no-one will bat an eyelid if you turn up with six of these on a Friday after work — it’s a helpful statement that indicates how long you’ll be staying out (home by 10pm) and where you’re at generally (not hurting for cash).
If you’re ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in a Macs Brewbar, order a pint of Gold, drink it politely, and get the hell out of there.

6. Asahi
Uncontroversial top ten placement here. A very reliable choice, plays well in all formats, and to its credit if you are the kind of terrorist looking to DIY a shandy in the DARTZmobile while on tour, I am yet to find a better combination than Asahi and Sprite.

5. Steinlager Tokyo Dry
Tokyo Drift's arriving on the scene in 2016 was a game changing moment. This is a main character beer: lovely crisp taste, dazzles in big can form, sturdy in a box of twelve, refreshing on tap. I don’t know how the people responsible for Steinlager managed to do this but they improved on Asahis and Sapporos and created an iconic product for a new generation that has a bright future ahead of it. You all better be calling it Tokyo Drift too.

4. Parrotdog Birdseye Hazy

3. Parrotdog Bitterbitch
A rightful placement for an iconically Wellington brewery — I’m pretty sure the DARTZ boys would put their entire range in the top ten if they could, and Parrotdog Bar in Lyall Bay is a fantastic watering hole to boot.

2. Lion Red
Look, I know full well that this placement may mean DARTZ can never tour the South Island or parts of the mighty Waikato again — but all of us have that animal inside us, and mine is a mighty roaring yellow lion.

This is the working man's beer, it was the beer my Poppa brought in a crate and poured into the tiniest of glasses after a tough day of herding and shearing sheep. It’s the beer my Dad cracked after road working all day on the outskirts of Te Aroha for Kaimai Valley Services, it’s one of the two boxes of 24 my Step-Dad needed help carrying out of the car after a week's service at the Meatworks.

Hands down, Lion Red also has the loudest can crack of all beers, and I stand by that. It’s a sound that signals that the working day is finished and the Golden Hour has begun.

While on tour at the bottom of the South Island, just before we were to play Invercargill we stopped at a pub that had a cellar room attached, and I asked the fine man serving me if I could grab a tall boy of Red. An old man taking bets on the TAB next to me laughed, and the cellar room attended told me, quite sternly, that “we don’t sell that here”. But that’s the lengths I go to secure myself a cold Red, I'll happily walk into the fiery embers of the deep south with no backup if it means I can secure possibly the best beer in Aotearoa. — DANZ

1. Lion Brown
I am not a religious man. I do not believe in God, I do not believe in divine intervention of any sort. But in my heart of hearts, I have no doubt that there was some kind of deity alongside us in the beer fridge of the Cellar Room liquor store in Brooklyn, Wellington, at 11.33am on 29th June 2019, where a fresh-faced and recently-formed DARTZ were shooting the music video for debut single ‘40 Riddiford Street’, performing the chorus in the chiller.

For some reason Rollyz decided to bring a kick pedal in as part of his makeshift drum set, set it up against a box of Lion Browns, and proceeded to kick it through to the point that beer was splattering out through the cardboard. The manager of the liquor store kindly suggested we purchase the Lion Brown box, which the DARTZ boys proceeded to drink on camera throughout the rest of the music video shoot (and at every possible opportunity for the next five years) — cementing Lion Brown as the officially endorsed beer of DARTZ, that most drinkable of brews that now tightly binds us together as brothers.

As I’ve come to learn more about Lion Brown — including the strength of its association with Wellington, and as the DARTZ boys sow their roots deeper into this city, the serendipity of the Cellar Room incident is overwhelming to the point where I truly believe some kind of godly presence was involved.

But DARTZ fans — the playback on this is WILD. You can clearly see in the video that was Rollyz’s kick pedal was only centimetres away from locking in a very different beer drinking future — less than an inch to the right is a box of Panhead Supercharger APA (number 18 on this list).

The sliding doors situation on our hands here is incredible — could DARTZ have been a Supercharger band? Setlists written on Supercharger boxes? Supercharger variants of our album cover? The butterfly effect is scary to consider, and the thought of the bloating scarier still.

Lion Brown is the best beer in New Zealand.

'Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One' is out on Friday 1st March via Flying Nun Records — preorder the limited vinyl LP and CD editions HERE.

Disclaimer: please note all opinions / rankings expressed above are those of DARTZ and may not reflect the personal beverage preferences of UTR.


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DARTZ - Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One Album Release
Thu 11th Apr 8:00pm
The Boathouse, Nelson
DARTZ - Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One Album Release
Fri 12th Apr 8:00pm
Waterfront Bar and Grill, Blenheim
DARTZ - Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One Album Release
Sat 13th Apr 8:00pm
Mussel Inn, Onekaka
DARTZ - Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One Album Release
Thu 18th Apr 8:00pm
The Crown Hotel, Dunedin
Fri 19th Apr 8:00pm
Wunderbar, Lyttelton
DARTZ - Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One Album Release
Sat 20th Apr 8:30pm
Last Place, Hamilton
Sat 27th Apr 8:00pm
Whammy Bar, Auckland